The Role of Smart Grids in Integrating Renewable Energy

This discussion paper explores the intersection of smart grid technology, policy, and regulation from a non-technical point of view, focusing on some specific questions relevant for decision makers.

Questions relevant for decision makers:

  • What are the challenges of integrating variable RE into power grids?
  • What types of smart grid solutions are emerging to integrate variable RE?
  • What are good examples from around the world of smart grids aiding in the integration of variable RE?
  • What types of policy and regulatory approaches are emerging to support smart grid solutions in relation to RE?
  • Based on emerging case studies from around the world, this discussion paper concludes that smart grids offer solutions to various challenges associated with variable RE, including providing additional flexibility, unlocking demand side participation, and deferring more costly grid upgrades.

This report is an update of a 2012 ISGAN Annex 4 report entitled “Smart Grid Contributions to Variable Renewable Resource Integration.”

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